Date: 18th September 2014 at 9:02pm
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Yannick Bastos, the unknown star who hails from Luxembourg has left the club. Negotiations upon his arrival involved Gretar Steinsson and there was a sense of intrigue about his signing. The mutual termination of his contract came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Sure, our finances aren’t good at all but he can’t be on anything too substantial. This must’ve meant that he’d have to be really really poor for Dougie to want to release him, or was it just some weird trigger action following Clayton’s arrival?

Dougie’s treatment of Yannick Bastos reminds me quite a bit of the curious Jan Gregus case. We loaned him for a year and he was highly rated. He scored a great goal for the reserved and then never featured for the first team. We chose not to sign him permanently and Dougie assured us that Gary Fraser would be ample as a young centre midfielder. Luckily, Gregus went back to his club and has done well. Fraser shortly left Bolton and wasn’t replaced, though. There were certainly a few question marks there and I’ve got to the point where I’ve no clue about what DF will do next. We’ve got young Kayne Woolery whom I hope will not be treated in the same way.

Signing Max Clayton is an exciting deal for the club- he’s highly rated and we’ve paid 300,000 for him which is a decent fee for a club like ours to shell out for someone with so little experience. I really really do hope that Dougie puts him among the first team. Clearly he likes the player, but whether or not he’ll do that remains uncertain.

Rob Hall has had glimpses of genuine quality. Why has he never been playing? He’s got more potential than I’ve seen in anyone at Bolton since Chung Yong Lee first burst onto the scenes. Yes, Hall’s made mistakes and he’s young and we might not want to overly-expose him but we need him to be getting at least 30 goals a season. We have to remember here that while we don’t want to throw out our U7s squad every week, we can take risks. We’re not playing in the Champions League final- we’re in the same league as Rotheram! If Rob Hall is good enough to attract interest from clubs like Birmingham who would play him regularly then he should be good enough for us. Like with Clayton we paid a pretty hefty fee for him and we simply do not have this kind of money to waste.

The clauses in Hall and Clayton’s contract, I believe, have appearance fees which go to their former clubs. However, I don’t think this should deter Dougie from playing them. It may cost us a few thousand, but not ever playing them would waste hundreds of thousands. I can understand that their clauses discourage putting them on as 93rd minute subs, though.

Another mini study I’d like to do would be Connor Wilkinson. In this case, I think Dougie has done well. He’s been introduced to first team football and has worked with good mentors such as Jermaine Beckford. He was very impressive during pre-season, and no doubt fans wanted to see him in the first team. Last year he was ineffective in League 2. However, I think he’s matured greatly as a player and will do well at Oldham. He has been loaned out for a month there which is the perfect move for him in my opinion. The difference in standards between League 1 and the Championship are not huge and if his loan goes well, I think we’ll have another striking option- doesn’t a Wilkinson-Clayton partnership sound exciting?

Anyway, the way Dougie works with youngster has been interesting me lately. Clearly, he has had success with his method as a coach most notably bringing Wilfred Zaha throught the Crystal Palace academy. Time will only tell how our youngsters do.


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